GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A former gymnastics coach charged with sexually assaulting 10 children in Kent County appeared in court Wednesday afternoon.
A preliminary hearing was held for two of the cases against Shannon Guay, with a judge ruling that he will stand trial for three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of kidnapping.
The charges stem from incidents in the ’90s at two different homes in Grand Rapids.
On Wednesday, three women testified, saying they were sexually abused by Guay when he was either living with them or at a home across the street.
One victim said she was about 10 or 11 years old when she was forced to perform sexual acts with Guay, who was her karate instructor and a family friend. She said Guay invaded her personal space.
“We would use the couch cushions as, like, sparing gear, and we would hold them. And he would wrap his arms around us, showing us how to hold them so we wouldn’t get knocked down,” the woman testified. “It seemed pretty innocent in the beginning, and it was just, ‘You’re so pretty.’ And ‘Can you lift your shirt up?’ from there.”
Her sister also testified Wednesday, saying she was around 15 when Guay abused her.
“I was trying to help clean up, and he had shut the door. And he grabbed my wrist and he had walked me over to the futon and he had put his hands on my shoulders and put me down on my knees,” she said. “And he was in front of me, to where he could sit down on the futon, and he proceeded to take his pants down.”
A third victim, the cousin of the other two, testified that she was only about 15 years old when she had sex with Guay, who was an adult at the time.
“We only had sex the one time, and then he kind of got distant from me and was like, ‘You know, we can’t do this anymore. We’re going to get in trouble,'” the woman said. “So it was just the one time.”
Guay is expected to be back in front of a judge next week, this time in the 63rd District Court, where additional preliminary hearings will be held for other victims.